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NCLR Response to Trump’s Appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief White House Strategist

(November 16, 2016, San Francisco, CA)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights responds to President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose news agency has been a vehicle for extreme views about racial and religious minorities, women, and LGBTQ people as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.: “Steve Bannon’s appointment as a senior presidential advisor is a betrayal of the American people and of our...

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NCLR Responds to U.S. Presidential Election

(San Francisco, Nov. 9, 2016)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) responds to the 2016 Presidential election results. Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.: “By a slim margin, this nation has elected a demagogue who trafficked in bigotry, stoked racist hatred and normalized misogyny. The election of Donald Trump as President threatens basic principles of human dignity and justice. Many of our most cherished values—inclusion, honoring difference, embracing equality,...

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NCLR Client Asks Illinois Supreme Court to Rehear Decision Barring Property Claims By Unmarried Partners

(San Francisco, Sept. 8, 2016)–Today, Eileen Brewer, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Chicago attorney Angelika Kuehn, asked the Illinois Supreme Court to rehear its August 18, 2016 Blumenthal v. Brewer decision, which barred former unmarried partners from enforcing property claims against one another when they break up. The case arose when Brewer brought claims against her former partner, Jane Blumenthal, seeking an equitable division of the property and...

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Illinois Supreme Court Deals Major Setback to Unmarried Couples

(Springfield, IL, August 18, 2016)— Today, in a 5-2 decision with a strong dissent, the Illinois Supreme Court held that unmarried couples are barred from bringing common law claims to divide their property when they break up. The decision affirms the discriminatory policy established in 1979 by the Illinois Supreme Court in Hewitt v. Hewitt, 77 Ill.2d 49, at a time when Illinois still criminalized intimate relationships outside of marriage. Hewitt barred the state’s courthouse doors to...

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Gay Widower Sues KRON4 Pension Plan for Refusing to Provide Survivor Benefits After His Husband Died

(San Francisco, August 9, 2016)—Today, the widower of a former KRON4 employee sued Young Broadcasting of San Francisco and the KRON/IBEW Local 45 Pension Plan for refusing to provide him with a spousal pension benefit even though the couple were registered domestic partners. David Reed and Donald Lee Gardner began dating in 1998. They quickly fell in love and committed themselves to caring for and protecting one another, including by becoming domestic partners in 2004. They were together for...

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On Anniversary of Historic Marriage Equality Ruling, Ropes & Gray Makes Donation to NCLR

(San Francisco, CA, June 24, 2016)—To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Ropes & Gray will make a $100,000 donation to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Ropes & Gray’s co-counsel in Obergefell. Ropes & Gray’s donation to NCLR has been funded through legal fees awarded to the firm by a federal court in Tennessee as part of the resolution of the case, which also awarded fees to NCLR and other firms...

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Gay Widower Sues San Francisco Bay Area Union Pension Plan for Refusing to Provide Survivor Benefits After His Husband Died

(San Francisco, January 22, 2016) – Today, the widower of a hotel telecommunications engineer in San Francisco sued the IUOE Stationary Engineers Local 39 Pension Plan and its Board of Trustees for refusing to provide him with a spousal pension benefit required by the terms of the pension plan and federal law, solely because both spouses are men. Robert Pritchard and Thomas Conwell met in San Francisco in 2005, quickly falling in love and becoming inseparable. They were soulmates, Robert says,...

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Federal Court Denies FedEx’s Attempt to Throw Out Suit by Widow of FedEx Employee Denied Pension Benefits Based on Her Spouse’s 26 years of Service to the Company

(San Francisco, January 4, 2016)—Today, U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton denied FedEx’s attempt to throw out a lawsuit filed by Stacey Schuett, a widow of a longtime FedEx employee who has been denied the survivor pension benefits her same-sex spouse earned during her long career with the company. FedEx refuses to provide the benefits because its pension plan incorporates the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), even though that law was struck down as unconstitutional by the...

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Alabama Mother Asks Supreme Court to Review Unprecedented Alabama Refusal to Recognize a Same-Sex Parent Adoption from Another State

(Birmingham, AL, November 16, 2015)—Today, a lesbian mother in Alabama asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Alabama Supreme Court decision refusing to recognize her as an adoptive parent of her three children and holding that Alabama does not have to recognize second-parent adoptions granted by Georgia courts. The mother also asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order permitting her to visit her children while her appeal is pending. As a result of an earlier Alabama order, she has not...

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NCLR and Equality Florida Ask Federal Judge to Order Immediate Issuance of Birth Certificates Acknowledging Same-Sex Spouses as Parents

(Tallahassee, FL, October 16, 2015)—Today, the same-sex couples who filed a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s refusal to add both of their names to their children’s birth certificates asked the court for immediate protection for their families. The request for a preliminary injunction filed by Debbie and Kari Chin of St. Petersburg and Yadira Arenas and Alma Vazquez of Winter Haven says: “Defendants’ discriminatory denial of equal birth certificates to Plaintiffs and their children …...

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